I find most Facebook trends fall somewhere between idiotic and self-soothing laziness.
Idiotic: the current trend of “comment here and something magical will happen.” No doubt the same people comment who sent me all those emails in 2001 that warned of imminent downfall should one not forward on to at least ten friends. Remember when chain letters used to actually come in the mail? I’m still waiting for my sticker club chain letter windfall.
Self-Soothing Laziness: If one posts a picture of a sad looking dog, one mentally absolves oneself from the guilty feelings that one should do something to help sad dogs, like give money or volunteer their time. At best these things are well intentioned ideas with no real motivation behind them to make change and at worst they are poorly researched “causes” that with a little digging lead to a barely buried pile of bull (see: Kony 2012).
So being a judgmental bore, like I am, I despise nearly all Facebook trends but yesterday I hopped on the Facebook bandwagon for perhaps the first time since the 2009 “25 Things” Note. My Facebook profile picture now proudly displays the red/pink equal sign in support of gay marriage and I’ll tell you why this is not totally hypocritical.
- I don’t know if SCOTUS justices are allowed to have Facebook and if they are I doubt they have a large slathering of friends whose Facebook rants influence their decisions (I’m absolutely sure that last part is fully against the judge handbook). So I don’t think anyone is actually posting this photo as a means to sway the court’s decision.
- As a rather impassioned follower of the gay rights movement one of the things you hear over and over is that if more people came out (or showed support for the out people in their lives) the trend against equal rights and treatment of the GLBT community will turn the other way. So for me this is just another quiet and peaceful way to make it public to “my friends” that this is something I support and if you like me enough to let me creep around your internet life maybe this is a topic you should consider supporting too.
- I like the thought that my GLBT Facebook friends (be they out our not) will see it and know that they have an ally in me.
- George Takei told me to do it, and I always listen to George Takei.